Online Program

Using CPBR to explore breast cancer risk due to hair product usage among African American Women

Monday, November 2, 2015

Sabine Monice, MPH, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Laura Stiel, MA, Department of Social Work and Social Ecology, Loma Linda University, San Bernardino, CA
Bing Turner, MPH, Loma Linda University
Paris Adkins-Jackson, MA, MPH, Asante Wellness, LLC, Compton, CA
Susanne Montgomery, PhD, MPH, MS, Behavioral Health Institute, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
African American (AA) women die more and younger of breast cancer (BC) than White women.  Research suggests a link between BC risk and the use of hair products containing endocrine disruptors. This has become a growing concern for AAs in the Inland Empire, partly because AAs use these products at higher rates than other racial groups.

Local community organizations collaborated with university researchers to explore whether the potential risk posed by hair product use was a community concern, and ways to address it. To prepare, we held several capacity-building events including IRB, qualitative data collection, and data-analyses training. Following CBPR principles, partners were involved in all phases of the study. Over 100 individuals participated in 52 interviews and focus groups triangulated by respondent type (women with and without BC, stylists, salon owners, male partners); data was analyzed using Grounded Theory and coded using QDA Miner.

While much concern exists, there are different levels of awareness in younger/older and lower income/higher income respondents. Hair stylists expressed special concerns for finance-limited clientele, who may improperly use products at home leading to higher exposure; some younger men worried about the attractiveness of alternative styles. Overall, respondents wanted more information, education, and guidance on solutions and alternatives.

Although more research is needed to better understand the hair product and BC risk relationship, this research reveals clear concern about the issue in the AA community. With concern about chemicals in beauty products mounting nationally, findings from this research could inform policies regulating hair products.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Environmental health sciences
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Identify and describe potential challenges and solutions for overcoming conflict between academic intuitions and community partners. Analyze and discuss the CPBR process from the perspective of an academic institution.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been and am currently a research assistant for this project. With my background in public health and interest in the CPBR process I have been able to assist and help educate community members associated with this project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.